What does sensory-seeking look like?

We had a typical morning, up at 5:45 AM, requesting captain underpants on YouTube while having milk and corntwists.

Why does rain feel so good to a sensory-seeker?

Stimming was very high this morning, since we’ve had more company over in the past few days then usual, and it’s shown.

Hank requested a “tubby” which he often craves to have sensory soothing or grounding feeling the water gives him when submerged.

Hank’s respite worker is a star of a woman. She handled a meltdown yesterday with no one getting hurt. (Insert applause)

I only hope she will return after such a frightful experience. This is always something I worry about when supporters who aren’t generally exposed to sensory overload in autism related meltdowns are often traumatized by their experiences.

Back to my story, sorry I got sidetracked, with relating to sensory-seeking.

After a morning tub to ground Hank, he verbally requested “go outside”. We went outside, as I always try to honour Hank’s verbal requests as best I can to encourage communication.

The stims returned quickly as we made our way down the short walk to the park at the end of our street.

The park wasn’t overly busy, five kiddos to be exact, and most of them were familiar to us.

Hank began sensory-seeking to cope with the stimulating noises, activities and hustle-bustle happening at the little park.

Hank began to pour sand through his fingers, above his head and watching as it fell to the ground. He came over to me, sitting on the bench and began to collect gravel along the unmaintained path to begin the same process above with a new texture and feel.

I could sense the stimulation was boiling and wanted to offer options so I asked him if he wanted to go home? “Is it too busy here today?” He replied “no go home”. We pressed on, while I tried to talk through his feelings.

As a parent, this is the challenging part, trying to find ways for your kiddo to cope appropriately, while enjoying being around his peers in hopes to make a friend.

Moments later, the skies opened up and it began raining. Really raining!

All 5 kiddos ran home to take shelter from the rain, while my boy stood in the rain as if it had instantly washed away all the anxiety and stimulus of the outside world.

As I sat in the sand under the climber taking shelter from the fast, heavy rain I could feel my eyes welling up.

Why is everything so hard for this little boy?

I certainly feel blessed to be this little boys Mother, and as his Mother I will always advocate for him in hopes he gets the best possible chance to succeed in this world.


If you enjoy our stories, please follow us on Facebook at Lennox and Addington County Autism network to learn more about our journey.